If you follow me on social media, you know for almost a decade, Jason and I have been fulfilling our financial dreams with help from Etsy. All sellers are unique, but here are my answers to your most frequently asked questions here!
Should I offer free shipping?
- I typically do for domestic orders, because most online retailers do and consumers expect it. I do offer Priority shipping for $7. Read more here: https://help.etsy.com/hc/en-us/articles/360024564734-Why-Should-I-Offer-Free-Shipping-?segment=selling
How much does Etsy take for fees?
- 3.5% transaction fee (not including shipping)
- $0.20 for every item posted (last 4 months)
What is the best way to keep track of orders/payments?
- I have the Etsy Seller App downloaded on my phone. I get a notification whenever someone favorites an item or my shop, get a message, or get an order. I can only have one shop logged in at a time, so I have my most popular one hooked up.
- You will receive an email + an Etsy notification every time you get a message or a sale.
- Orders will stay in your queue until you mark them as “Complete.”
How does the Etsy algorithm work?
How much inventory do I need?
- You can start off with minimal inventory. You can also Print On Demand, but I would get samples ahead of time so you can take photos and use those images to post.
Will I be successful with less than five items for people to choose from? I’ve read where you need pages of stuff “to keep people interested” or to “stay on your page longer.”
- Yes! Jason and I started 2 stores in November 2019, with 1 product each. We dropped down the prices to get things selling, so we could start to rank. Within 6 weeks, we made over $20,000 collectively with only 1 item in each store. (Overwrote had custom dog prints in a soldier outfit and Siloes had custom watercolor dog prints.)
How can you get extra funding for your business?
- We start small, and we make almost all our products with paper. At first, it was because it was a minimal cost that we could afford, but with the margins and being lightweight it is a favorable medium to use. Also, if it gets lost in the mail, it is simple to print and ship a new one. No matter if you are a graphic designer, poet, chef, wedding planner…you can create so many products with paper. A print, a cookbook, bridal shower bingo cards, you name it!
- Jason and I also use crowdfunding through Kickstarter. This has allowed us to buy printing equipment, computers, and materials to continue to create things we are passionate about. Learn more about how we’ve made over $150,000 on Kickstarter. https://thrivette.com/lifestyle/how-we-made-over-150000-on-kickstarter/
Do I need a social media following to gain customers?
- While social media can help, you do not need it to start your shop. With Overwrote and Siloes Custom Gifts, Jason and I made over $20k in 6 weeks without doing any social media.
- That being said, Pinterest has led customers towards our pages.
- Instagram and Facebook ads can help, and there is a ton of research on it, but you do not need this to get started.
- I do run $5 – $10 in Etsy ads per day…during the holiday time I run up to $100, but I make 10x my money that I run on ad spend. You do not have to run sales to start.